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US Code

  • US Code Title 39 Chapter 10 § 1004
 

Collective References of USPS Manuals
and Accumulated NAPS Information

  • Adverse Action Appeals 650 Procedures
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution 652.5
  • Arbitrator ADR Decisions
  • Attorney-Client Privilege
  • BOG – USPS Board of Governors
  • Debt Collection Procedures
  • Discovery
  • Disciplinary Defense Fund (National DDF)
  • Request for Representation
  • Douglas Factors
  • Dues Check Off List (DCO)
  • EAS Discipline (Anderson Memo) [download] [view]
  • 650 Grievance – Step A Appeal Procedures
  • Nonbargaining Disciplinary, Grievance, and Appeal Procedures: ELM 650 [download] [view]
  • Conduct: ELM 660 [download] [view]
  • Involuntary Reassignments
  • Involuntary Salary Offset
  • Letters of Warning 651.5
  • Letters of Warning in Lieu of Time-Off Suspensions 651.6
  • MI EL-380-2006-2 [download] [view]
  • Privately Owned Vehicle (POV)
  • Representation
  • Western World Presentaion - 02-27-08 [download] [view]
 
 

U S Code Title 39 Chapter 10 § 1004

(a)It shall be the policy of the Postal Service to provide compensation, working conditions, and career opportunities that will assure the attraction and retention of qualified and capable supervisory and other managerial personnel; to provide adequate and reasonable differentials in rates of pay between employees in the clerk and carrier grades in the line work force and supervisory and other managerial personnel; to establish and maintain continuously a program for all such personnel that reflects the essential importance of a well-trained and well-motivated force to improve the effectiveness of postal operations; and to promote the leadership status of such personnel with respect to rank-and-file employees, recognizing that the role of such personnel in primary level management is particularly vital to the process of converting general postal policies into successful postal operations.

(b)The Postal Service shall provide a program for consultation with recognized organizations of supervisory and other managerial personnel who are not subject to collective-bargaining agreements under chapter 12 of this title. Upon presentation of evidence satisfactory to the Postal Service that a supervisory organization represents a majority of supervisors, that an organization (other than an organization representing supervisors) represents at least 20 percent of postmasters, or that a managerial organization (other than an organization representing supervisors or postmasters) represents a substantial percentage of managerial employees, such organization or organizations shall be entitled to participate directly in the planning and development of pay policies and schedules, fringe benefit programs, and other programs relating to supervisory and other managerial employees.

(c)

(1)The Postal Service and the supervisors' organization shall, unless otherwise mutually agreed to, meet at least once each month to implement the consultation and direct participation procedures of subsection (b) of this section.
(2)
(A)At least 7 days before each meeting, each party shall—
(i)provide notice of agenda items, and
(ii)describe in detail the proposals such party will make with respect to each such item.
(B)Grievances of individual employees shall not be matters which may be included as agenda items under this paragraph.
(d)
(1) In order to facilitate consultation and direct participation by the supervisors' organization in the planning and development of programs under subsection (b) of this section which affect members of the supervisors' organization, the Postal Service shall—
(A)provide in writing a description of any proposed program and the reasons for it;
(B)give the organization at least 60 days (unless extraordinary circumstances require earlier action) to review and make recommendations with respect to the program; and
(C)give any recommendation from the organization full and fair consideration in deciding whether or how to proceed with the program.
(2)If the Postal Service decides to implement a program described in paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Postal Service shall before such implementation—
(A)give the supervisors' organization details of its decision to implement the program, together with the information upon which the decision is based;
(B)give the organization an opportunity to make recommendations with respect to the program; and
(C)give such recommendations full and fair consideration, including the providing of reasons to the organization if any of such recommendations are rejected.
(3)If a program described in paragraph (1) of this subsection is implemented, the Postal Service shall—
(A)develop a method for the supervisors' organization to participate in further planning and development of the program, and
(B)give the organization adequate access to information to make that participation productive.
(4)The Postal Service and the supervisors' organization may, by agreement, adopt procedures different from those provided by this subsection.
(e)
(1)The Postal Service shall, within 45 days of each date on which an agreement is reached on a collective bargaining agreement between the Postal Service and the bargaining representative recognized under section 1203 of this title which represents the largest number of employees, make a proposal for any changes in pay policies and schedules and fringe benefit programs for members of the supervisors' organization which are to be in effect during the same period as covered by such agreement.
(2)The Postal Service and the supervisors' organization shall strive to resolve any differences concerning the proposal described in paragraph (1) of this subsection under the procedures provided for, or adopted under, subsection (d) of this section.
(3)The Postal Service shall provide its decision concerning changes proposed under paragraph (1) of this subsection to the supervisors' organization within 90 days following the submission of the proposal.
(f)
(1)If, notwithstanding the mutual efforts required by subsection (e) of this section, the supervisors' organization believes that the decision of the Postal Service is not in accordance with the provisions of this title, the organization may, within 10 days following its receipt of such decision, request the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to convene a factfinding panel (hereinafter referred to as the "panel") concerning such matter.
(2)Within 15 days after receiving a request under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service shall provide a list of 7 individuals recognized as experts in supervisory and managerial pay policies. Each party shall designate one individual from the list to serve on the panel. If, within 10 days after the list is provided, either of the parties has not designated an individual from the list, the Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service shall make the designation. The first two individuals designated from the list shall meet within 5 days and shall designate a third individual from the list. The third individual shall chair the panel. If the two individuals designated from the list are unable to designate a third individual within 5 days after their first meeting, the Director shall designate the third individual.
(3)
(A)The panel shall recommend standards for pay policies and schedules and fringe benefit programs affecting the members of the supervisors' organization for the period covered by the collective bargaining agreement specified in subsection (e)(1) of this section. The standards shall be consistent with the policies of this title, including sections 1003(a) and 1004(a) of this title.
(B)The panel shall, consistent with such standards, make appropriate recommendations concerning the differences between the parties on such policies, schedules, and programs.
(4)The panel shall make its recommendation no more than 30 days after its appointment, unless the Postal Service and the supervisors' organization agree to a longer period. The panel shall hear from the Postal Service and the supervisors' organization in such a manner as it shall direct. The cost of the panel shall be borne equally by the Postal Service and the supervisors' organization.
(5)Not more than 15 days after the panel has made its recommendation, the Postal Service shall provide the supervisors' organization its final decision on the matters covered by factfinding under this subsection. The Postal Service shall give full and fair consideration to the panel's recommendation and shall explain in writing any differences between its final decision and the panel's recommendation.

(g)Not earlier than 3 years after the date of the enactment of this subsection, and from time to time thereafter, the Postal Service or the supervisors&apos organization may request, by written notice to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and to the other party, the creation of a panel to review the effectiveness of the procedures and the other provisions of this section and the provisions of section 1003 of this title. The panel shall be designated in accordance with the procedure established in subsection (f)(2) of this section. The panel shall make recommendations to the Congress for changes in this title as it finds appropriate.

(h)
(1)In order to ensure that postmasters and postmasters' organizations are afforded the same rights under this section as are afforded to supervisors and the supervisors' organization, subsections (c) through (g) shall be applied with respect to postmasters and postmasters' organizations—
(A)by substituting "postmasters' organization" for "supervisors' organization" each place it appears; and
(B)if 2 or more postmasters' organizations exist, by treating such organizations as if they constituted a single organization, in accordance with such arrangements as such organizations shall mutually agree to.
(2)If 2 or more postmasters' organizations exist, such organizations shall, in the case of any factfinding panel convened at the request of such organizations (in accordance with paragraph (1)(B)), be jointly and severally liable for the cost of such panel, apart from the portion to be borne by the Postal Service (as determined under subsection (f)(4)).
(i)For purposes of this section—
(1)"supervisors' organization" means the organization recognized by the Postal Service under subsection (b) of this section as representing a majority of supervisors;
(2)"members of the supervisors' organization" means employees of the Postal Service who are recognized under an agreement between the Postal Service and the supervisors' organization as represented by such organization;
(3)"postmaster" means an individual who is the manager in charge of the operations of a post office, with or without the assistance of subordinate managers or supervisors;
(4)"postmasters' organization" means an organization recognized by the Postal Service under subsection (b) as representing at least 20 percent of postmasters; and
(5)"members of the postmasters' organization" shall be considered to mean employees of the Postal Service who are recognized under an agreement—
(A)between the Postal Service and the postmasters' organization as represented by the organization; or
(B)in the circumstance described in subsection (h)(1)(B), between the Postal Service and the postmasters' organizations (acting in concert) as represented by either or any of the postmasters' organizations involved.
 

650 Grievance – Step A Appeal Procedures

Part 651 establishes procedure for (a) disciplinary action against nonprobationary employees who are not subject to the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement and (b) emergency action or conduct that also normally warrants disciplinary action.

Adverse Action Appeals 650 Procedures

(650 adverse action appeals would apply for EAS who are not eligible for appeal to the Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) the appellant can receive DDF assistance if a member of NAPS for the required time period)

Adverse actions are defined as discharges, suspensions of more than 14 days, furloughs without pay, and reduction in grade or pay.

Notice:

The employees immediate supervisor issues a written notice of proposed adverse action. This notice includes (a) the action proposed, with specific and detailed reason; (b) the instructions for responding to the notice; (c) a statement of the right of the employee or representative to review all material relied upon in proposing the action and when and where the material is available for review; and (d) the name of the official rendering the decision. The proposal also advises the employee that a reasonable amount of official time is allowed for the preparation and presentation or reply if the employee is otherwise in a duty status and that the proposed action will be effected no sooner than 30 calendar days after the employee receives the notice.

Response:

The employee or representative may respond to the adverse action in writing, in person, or both to the deciding official or designee identified in the notice. The time frame is 10 days.

Decision:

The decision-making authority who must be higher in authority than the proposing official considers the employee's response and gives a written decision, including reasons for the decision, as soon as possible but no later than 60 days. If the decision is to effect the adverse action or to modify it to a lesser penalty, the employee's appeal rights, including MSPB appeal rights, if applicable, are stated.

Alternative Dispute Resolution 652.5

The Postal Service supports the use of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process of mediation to address employee appeals relating to nonbargaining disciplinary actions. Participation in mediation by an appellant is voluntary.

Arbitrator ADR Decisions

Arbitrators and ADR teams have handed down decisions that involve action on the part of supervisors and managers. These decisions include, among other actions, orders to apologize to craft employee(s) for an alleged incident; mandatory attendance at sensitivity training; issuance of Letters of Warning and other discipline; and, in rare cases, a request that adverse action be taken against the supervisor or manager.

Arbitration and ADR cases concern the craft, not EAS employees. When an arbitrator goes beyond his authority in deciding against EAS employees, supervisors and managers are not bound by these decisions. ADR decisions involving EAS supervisors and managers should be recommendations, not orders for apologies or attendance at training sessions when the supervisor or manager truly believes he or she is innocent of any wrong doing.

EAS should use the 650 appeal procedures to challenge such orders. (Ref. De.18, 2001 Vol 92 #25 TPS)

 

Attorney-Client Privilege

The Postmaster Association was granted attorney-client privilege for their representatives. NAPS was granted the same privilege if the charge is not criminal in nature or the case does not go to court. If those circumstances prevail then the privilege can be revoked.

 

BOG – USPS Board of Govenors

The Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service consists of nine Governors who are appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The nine Governors select a Postmaster General, who becomes a member of the board. The Board directs the exercise of the posers of the Postal Service, directs and controls its expenditures, reviews its practices, conducts long-range planning, and sets policies on all postal matters. The Board takes up matters such as service standards, capital investments and facilities projects exceeding $10 million. If also approves officer compensation.

 

Debt Collection Procedures

Non-bargaining procedures for Debt Collection are found in Chapter 450 of the ELM.

Debt Collection Act covers any debt owed the Postal Service by a current postal non-bargaining employee i.e.:

Payroll related debts

  • Recovery of amounts due under federal benefits programs
  • Federal court ordered judgement of salary offset
  • Improper or disallowed payment on a travel voucher
  • Shortage in main stamp stock of stamp credit, or
  • Improper salary payment

The Debt Collection Act provides appeal procedures:

  • Non-bargaining employee is given a Debt Determination letter (not letter of demand, this action is for craft employees)
  • Employee can request reconsideration if they feel it is not their debt and can request all documents related to the debt held by USPS.
  • USPS must notify the employee within 15 days that the debt is owed and swends a letter of Involuntary Offset.
  • EAS must either pay the debt or file for hearing to stay the involuntary offset (re-payment being withheld form their pay).
  • A hearing petition must be filed with the Recorder, Judicial Officer Department of USPS Headquarters on or before the 15 th calendar day following the receipt of the notice. (the court is very strict that the 15 days must be met)
  • At the hearing the EAS may be represented by NAPS. If a member in good standing, member can request DDF representation (Retirees who were in good standing as a NAPS member at the time of retirement is also eligible to apply for National DDF)

How to Apply For DDF Representation for Debt Collection

  • Member receives notice of account receivable and Letter of Debt Determination.
  • Member requests all documents and records that determined member was responsible for Debt.
  • Agency responds reconsideration accepted or agency denies reconsideration.
  • Should reconsideration be denied agency will issue "Notice of Involuntary Salary Offset" The notice will advise member XXX number of dollars will be deducted from their pay each pay period.
  • Upon receipt of Notice of Involuntary Salary Offset is received, send all of the above by express mail to Scialla Associates immediately, as the time frame for filing a petition for an oral hearing is very short, 15 days from receipt.
  • Should the agency begin deduction from the members pay before a notice of Involuntary offset is received, notify your area vice president who will contact Scialla Associates, who will notify the Administrative Judge who will then issue a Notice to the agency to refund the money and issue the proper notification.

 

Discovery

Method by which a representative requests all information used to document the corrective or adverse action. The information is requested in writing to the listed manager on the appeal portion of action letter.

 

Disciplinary Defense Fund (National DDF)
Request for Representation

How to submit a case to DDF: Scialia & Associates, 453 Preakness Ave #5 , Paterson , New Jersey 07502 , is the NAPS DDF provider.

Once your member receives the final decision letter the NAPS representative through discussion with the member regarding options and a decision by the member to seek DDF representation must provide the following documents into a file:

  1. One to two page narrative of the case.
  2. Letter of Proposed Adverse Action.
  3. Letter of Decision (including responses).
  4. MSPB Form 283 appeal, fill out the first two pages only.
  5. Form must have the following information; appellant name, home address, home telephone number, Form 50.

If requestor is designating Scialia & Associates as representative they must contact the Area VP need to send copy of file to NAPS HQ (however keep a copy for your own personal files). All other information will be completed by Scialia & Associates. All material must be received by Scialia Associates as soon as possible, as appeal must be filed within 30 days of effective date.

 

Douglas Factors

The burden is on the Agency to prove by preponderance that the penalty given was appropriate and comparable if the employee specifically challenges comparability.

The Factors Are:

  • The nature and seriousness of the offense and its relation to the employee's duties, position, and responsibilities, including whether the offense was intentional or technical or inadvertent, or was committed maliciously or for gain, or was frequently repeated;
  • The employee's job level and type of employment, including supervisory or fiduciary role, contacts with the public and prominence of the position;
  • The employee's past disciplinary record;
  • The employee's past work record, including length of service, performance on the job, ability to get along with fellow workers and dependability;
  • The effect of the offense upon the employee's ability to perform at a satisfactory level and effect upon the supervisor's confidence in the employee's ability to perform assigned duties;
  • Consistency of the penalty with those imposed upon other employees for the same or similar offenses;
  • Consistency of the penalty with agency practices;
  • The notoriety of the offense or its impact upon the reputation of the agency;
  • The clarity with which the employee was on notice to any rules that were violated in committing the offense or had been warned about the conduct in question;
  • The potential for rehabilitation of the employee;
  • Mitigating circumstances surrounding the offense such as unusual job tensions, personality problems, mental impairment, harassment, or bad faith, malice or provocation on the part of others involved in the matter, and the adequacy and effectiveness of alternative sanction to deter such conduct in the future by the employee or others.

Dues Check Off List (DCO)

Monthly statement received from the National Office listing all members of the local or state branch currently paying NAPS dues through payroll deduction. Finance numbers for the branch lists the members. A monthly branch check (dues payments owed to the local or state branch) is also enclosed which must be cashed timely or the money will be forfeited back to NAPS HQ after six months. To have direct deposits made to the branch banking account send a deposit slip to the NAPS national secretary/treasurer to start direct deposits for branch monthly DCO checks.

Involuntary Reassignment

One of the frequent inquiries received by NAPS is complaints of Involuntary Reassignments. Before we tackle the involuntary issue, maybe we should discuss what is your assignment?

In a letter dated March 18, 1997 Subject Vacancy Announcement and EAS Apploicant Notification states: "EAS Vacancy Announcements need to reflect the duty station, the starting and ending times and the non-scheduled days of the vacant position."

Based on the above agreement then your work assignment of record is the one you bid on or were slotted into when your Form 50 was processed. However, if the Form 50 does not reveal an assignment then it will be up to the local naps to work with the Postal Service to establish a guideline to comply with the policy. It will also be the responsibility of local NAPS to monitor all job postings to ensure the agency is complying with the agreement.

NAPS continues to receive complaints of EAS being Involuntary Reassigned. There is a guideline letter dated November 3, 1999, signed by Clarence Lewis. The Lewis letter was updated in January 14, 2002, by Pat Donahoe USPS COO.

When confronted with a manager who starts talking about "NAPS position" please be sure to tell them that it is not NAPS' position, but the "Postal Service's" position or policy that you are talking about!

Involuntary Salary Offset

Notice of Involuntary Salary Offset is the procedure used by the Postal Service to recover an EAS debt after filing for re-consideration of the postal debt has been denied. (See Debt Collection Procedures)

Letters of Warning 651.5

When warranted by the failure of nondisciplinary corrective measures or by the seriousness of the offense, a letter of warning may be issued. Letters of warning are usually issued by the employee's immediate supervisor. The written warning should contain (a) specific reasons for the letter and (b) a statement of applicable appeal rights. Letters of warning remain in the employee's official personnel folder (OPF) for period of 2 calendar years unless otherwise resolved or cited in subsequent disciplinary action.

Letters of Warning in Lieu of Time-Off Suspensions 651.6

Letter of warning in lieu of time-off suspensions may be issued in lieu of either a 7-day or 14-day time-off suspension only. Unless required by stature, suspensions of more than 14 days are prohibited except for indefinite suspensions referenced in 651.7.

Letters of warning in lieu of time-off suspensions are equivalent to time-off suspensions as an element of past discipline and may be cited as such in future disciplinary actions.

Notice:

Given by employee's immediate supervisors includes (a) specific and detailed reasons for the letter; (b) instructions for responding to it; (c) the right of the employee or representative to review all material relied upon in the action; (d) when, where, and from whom the material is available.

Response:

The employee and/or his or her representative may respond to the proposed letter of warning in lieu of time-off suspension in writing and/or in person to the deciding official (management at a higher level of authority than the individual who issued the proposed letter of warning in lieu of time-off suspension) within 10 calendar days of receipt.

Decision:

The deciding official, after consideration of the facts of the case and the employee's response, issues a letter of decision after the expiration of the 10-calendar day period for reply, but no later than 30 calendar days following the receipt of the employee's response. The decision letter will advise the employee that he or she may appeal in writing within 15 calendar days of receipt of the letter of decision.

Retention:

Letters of warning in lieu of time-off suspensions remain in the employee's OPF for 2 years unless otherwise resolved or cited in subsequent disciplinary action.

Privately Owned Vehicle (POV)

EAS are not required to use their privately owned vehicles for postal work unless it is annotated on the individual's personal car insurance that the vehicle will be used for work.

If a personal vehicle is used and an accident occurs while performing postal work the agency will not pay for the damages or injuries to the POV or the other vehicle.

The only postal employees required to have a vehicle are rural carriers. There is no requirement to own a vehicle or have a drive''s license currently included on any EAS vacancy announcement.

 

Representation

NAPS represents all promoted EAS including Area and Headquarters employees, reference Letter dated December 5, 2001. Subject: National Association of Postal Supervisors (NAPS) membership. (Replaced the October 29 memorandum regarding the same subject. December letter signed by Suzanne F. Medvidovich. "Current members of NAPS who are reassigned or promoted to an area, headquarters, or a headquarters field assignment are in no way obligated to cancel their NAPS membership. In addition, any non-bargaining employee, not currently a member of NAPS may join at their own choosing."

Subject to prohibitions regarding Executive and Administrative Scheduled (EAS) /Craft employees, if postal employees and if otherwise in a duty status are granted a reasonable amount of official time to respond to notices of proposed disciplinary action, to prepare for and represent an employee who has appealed a letter of warning or emergency placement in a nonduty status in accordance with 652.4.

Employees covered under these provisions may request representation during investigative questioning if the employee has a reasonable belief disciplinary action may ensue.